DMK cries foul, Stalin detained for sitting on a dharna

Aparna Parekh
Chennai: DMK working president M K Stalin arrives along with his party MLAs at the Tamil Nadu Secretariat in Chennai on Saturday. PTI Photo

Chennai: DMK working president M K Stalin arrives along with his party MLAs at the Tamil Nadu Secretariat in Chennai on Saturday. PTI Photo

DMK leader MK Stalin, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, has been detained after sitting on a dharna at Chennai’s Marina beach. Stalin was protesting against being manhandled by police personnel and marshals.

Police rounded up scores of DMK MLAs including Stalin who were protesting against the trust vote in the Assembly.

Stalin asked people to join him in the protest to ‘remove’ the ‘anti-democratic government’ that won the floor test in the Assembly earlier in the day.

Stalin, along with other DMK members, was evicted from inside the Assembly by marshals on Saturday afternoon ahead of the crucial floor test.

However, once evicted, Stalin rushed to the Governor to complain about his alleged manhandling.

The DMK leader showed the media his torn shirt before rushing off to the Governor. He alleged that he was attacked by police and marshals inside the assembly.

“(Due to the ruckus) again the proceedings were adjourned till 3 PM. But around 500 police personnel, led by Additional Commissioner of Police Seshasayee entered the Assembly and manhandled us by hitting us with shoes,” Stalin said.

“Now we have given a letter to the Speaker to postpone the Session,” he added.

DMK members were evicted on the orders of Speaker P Dhanapal for allegedly protesting and creating a ruckus that had turned violent.

Earlier in the day the Assembly witnessed unruly scenes with the opposition members insisting on a secret vote and wanting MLAs to be allowed to visit their constituencies and meet the people before they cast their vote.

The Assembly was adjourned twice before the floor test took place at 3 pm.

AIADMK Legislature party leader and Chief Minister E Palaniswami won the trust vote 122-11 in the Assembly in the absence of the Opposition. DMK MLAs had been evicted and the Congress MLAs chose to stage a walkout ahead of the trust vote. IUML MLA also staged a walkout along with Congress. So effectively, the voting was between the two factions of the AIADMK – the faction supporting Palaniswami, who was appointed by Sasikala, and the revolting Panneerselvam faction.